It is doubtless a great mystery, how it is that one man believes, and another rejects the Gospel. It is altogether a mystery; we cannot get at all beyond the fact, and must be content with our ignorance. But men of reasoning, subtle, and restless minds, have within them a temptation to inquisitiveness; they cannot acquiesce in the limits of God’s revelation, and go on to assume a cause for the strange things they see when they are not told one. Thus they argue that a man’s self cannot be the ultimate cause of his faith or unbelief, else there would be more first causes than God in the world: as if the same reasoning would not show that God is the Author of evil; or as if it were more intelligible, why the Divine Will should choose this man and reject that, than why an individual man should choose or reject good or evil. When then they see, as is constantly seen in life, two persons, in education the same, in circumstances the same, both baptized, both admitted to full Church privileges, one turning out well, the other ill, astonished at the mystery, they hastily say, “Here is God’s secret election! God has decreed life to one, and has passed over the other; else why this difference of conduct?” when they should bow the head, and wait till the day of the revelation of all secrets.

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